Take a moment to consider the following…
Take a Lie and add 1% Truth. The result? A Lie. Take the Truth and add 1% Lie. The result? A Lie.
- Lies Are Stronger Than The Truth
Lies can be tailor-made to fit any set of circumstances in order to be credible. The Truth is often awkward, clumsy and, at times, highly improbable.
- Lies Are More Adaptable and User-Friendly Than The Truth
Liars have a superficial confidence. Accomplished Liars are calm, collected and speak in a straightforward manner. People who tell the Truth are often nervous, mumble, slur their words and stumble over themselves trying to make sure they are believed.
- Liars Are Believable. Innocent People Look and Sound Like They’re Lying
The Truth is found everywhere. Any dolt can tell the Truth. In fact, sometimes people will pay a lot of money to get rid of the Truth. Really good Lies, on the other hand, are valuable works of art which are in great demand (Can you say ‘Spin Doctors’?). When was the last time you heard about someone being paid to tell the Truth?
- Lies Are More Valuable Than The Truth
The above passage is from my recollection of a book I read ages ago , during the summer between high school and college.
I was thinking of these little gems when I was faced with a serious ethical quandary last week in my work as a criminal defence lawyer.
<insert smart remarks here re criminal lawyers and ethics>
The problem ate me up. I wrestled with it all night. It was driving me nuts and I couldn’t see a good way out of it… just ways that were less bad than the others. I came back to court the next day exhausted from the ordeal that night.
I am sometimes asked by ‘normal people’ (ie non-lawyers), “How do you sleep at night representing all those guilty rapists and child molesters??”  The truth is that criminal lawyers have very high standards of ethics. No, really. We do. I’m serious.
Remember that scene in the movie Liar Liar where the Jim Carey character (a lawyer who is incapable of telling a lie [long story]) is preparing the gigolo/boyfriend to lie at trial and then realizes, to his horror, “Oh no! I can’t ask a question if I know the answer is a lie!”
That’s actually true. Lawyers at trial cannot ask a question of their own witness if they know that witness is going to lie in response to the question. If, in the course of examining one of our witnesses, he or she starts lying, we are obligated to change the subject immediately. We cannot participate in perpetrating a fraud upon the court. If it turns out that our client insists on continuing to lie under oath, we are obligated to remove ourselves as his or her lawyer. Our duty as officers of the court trumps our duty to our own clients.
So… back to the ethical dilemma. After consulting with several colleagues that I respect and trust, I was able to resolve the problem and get myself free of the quandary with my ethics intact, not only technically but morally. *phew*
Representing rapists, child molesters, wife-beaters, prostitutes, pornographers and drug dealers? Piece of cake. I sleep like a baby. 
But… had I listened to my baser instincts,…had I listened to my evil inclination instead of my good inclination (the Jewish equivalent of the little angel and devil sitting on your shoulders)… and not done the right thing with respect to the ethical dilemma?
Now THAT is something with which I would have had trouble sleeping.
 I try not to give my stock response, “On a sack of money!” (Anyone who knows how little public defenders get paid would get the sarcasm of that remark).
 The Rape of the A.P.E. (American Puritan Ethic: The Official History of the Sex Revolution, 1945-1973: The Obscening of America, an R.S.V.P) by Allen Sherman.
 This subject will most likely be the topic of a future bl*g, since I get questions like this all the time.